About a year ago, Cynthia got lost on the way to her favorite ice cream place – one she had been to time and time again. When she finally found it, ordered herself a treat and got on the road home, she was alarmed to realize she couldn’t figure out how to drive across the street, becoming disoriented with the number of bright headlights and speed and number of the cars. In the weeks that followed this incident, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Cynthia and her son on Mother’s Day
Cynthia, 64, has become a passionate advocate for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and their families, attending advocacy meetings, support groups and speaking at events. She recently moved to a retirement community in Napa, Calif., to be close to her son, who is her primary caregiver. She shared with us a letter her son wrote to her about the present and the future.
I don’t want you to worry or be afraid. Let’s enjoy every single day and not think too much about whether you can remember as well as you could in the past.
I will watch over you and won’t let anything bad happen to you. If the time comes when we need to do more for you, I will make sure you have everything you need to have a great quality of life.
I wish I could change things. I wish I could take your illness for you but I can’t. All I can do is be there for you and love you.
I am just back from Hilarity for Charity, a fundraising event put on by Seth Rogen and his wife Lauren Miller. Lauren’s mother was diagnosed at the age of 55, when Lauren was just 25 years old. Lauren and Seth organized this event to help raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association and dispel the myth that Alzheimer’s is just an old person’s disease.
“Tonight, we will laugh to forget how sad this disease is,” Lauren says in the program. “But, more importantly, we’ll laugh to remember that changing the destiny of this illness is up to us.” Continue reading “Celebrities turn out for Seth Rogen’s Alzheimer’s fundraiser” »
The Strom family: Jane and Roger along with sons Erik, Zack and AJ
Leave a comment below to let us know about the everyday heroes in your life! In honor of Alzheimer’s Action Day on September 21, we are highlighting 21 Everyday Heroes. Today, meet Roger Strom, our 12th everyday hero. As of today, Roger is the top fundraiser for Walk to End Alzheimer’s in San Jose, with $11,000 raised to date! Roger’s wife has younger-onset Alzheimer’s disease and he and has family have made fundraising a family affair, with son Erik raising funds with his fraternity for the San Francisco Walk. Read more about Roger and his family in this Los Altos Town Crier article: When memory slips away, caregivers are challenged or donate to Roger here: Donation page of Roger Strom. Learn more about how you can raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease at www.alz.org/wam.
Our innocent antique hat rack leads to unexpected problems...
In less than 60 days will have reached the three year mark of John’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Amazingly, even though I know the prognosis for the disease, I thought that we could hum along where we were at the two-year mark when my husband was at 80 to 85 percent of his old self. That obviously was a dream.
John can still do many, many tasks: gardening, dishes, laundry, making the bed, taking care of himself and our dog Tobey. But I have recently found out that he isn’t doing it all alone. When I came home from work the other day my husband met me at the door to tell me there were people in our house. Continue reading “Angie deals with some unwelcome visitors” »